A few years ago, Fox News hosts went on almost a four-minute rant about Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood host Fred Rogers in which he was called an evil man and that he hurt children and America. According to the hosts, Mr. Rogers hurt the US by teaching children that they are special even though they may not be special. They continue on that this is why Americans feel entitled and want something for nothing.
Here’s the video although I wish it was in a higher quality but it’s the best I could find.
So if telling children they are special is damaging, why have we done it throughout history. First up, the song from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that sparked the above rant and thus lead me to write this post. Following that will be quotes from other people from current time and as early as 1890s.
You are my friend.Lyrics from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood song
You’re special to me.
There’s only one in this wonderful world.
You are special.
“You can dream it, you can be it,Lyrics from the A.N.T. Farm Theme Song (2011)
If you can feel it, you can believe it
Cause I am, you are, we are
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You.”Dr. Seuss (1959)
Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!Anne Frank (1940s)
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.Oscar Wilde (1897)
I’m sure I could spend hours digging up quotes from even farther back to show that we have always believed that we need to be ourselves because we each experience the world based on our own thoughts and no one else can see or feel what we see and feel. So I don’t think we can put the blame on Mr Rogers telling children they are special.
And just for fun, we found this clip of Fred Rogers on Arsenio Hall Show while we were researching this post.